We had Elliott's birthday party this afternoon at our house, with friends and extended family. The party was at 2:00, so I was counting on having a little bit of time beforehand to finish getting the house cleaned up. The bibliophile and her husband had invited Nico to a civil engineering / construction / building kids' thing at the museum, so I sent him and MB off to that at 11:00. Elliott and I went and did the week's grocery run plus picking up party drinks and snacks, so we got home around noon. I fed E lunch and put him down for a nap, then started hustling through my chores. At about 1:30, I was trying to finish up the floors so I could wash the dishes, so I decided to take the case of beer I'd bought down to the basement. I turned on the stove to boil water for iced tea, then grabbed the beer and headed downstairs. As soon as I got to the bottom of the steps, the handle on the box ripped and it fell on one corner, completely smashing one of the bottles. I ran and got a towel from the laundry room to soak up the puddle of beer, then opened the box to assess the damage. It wasn't that bad - only one bottle broken - but all the rest were covered in beer and would be sticky if I didn't rinse them. I hauled them all to the laundry room to rinse them in the sink, then found another box to put them into before I broke more of them. I found a garbage bag and stuffed the beer-soaked box into it. About this time, I started to notice that I was smelling smoke. I thought maybe someone was smoking a cigar in the neighbors' driveway, but it got stronger and then I realized something was definitely burning upstairs. I ran up to find that (of course) I had turned on the wrong burner, and now the huge box of tea bags I'd just bought was in flames on the stove. Like, actually in flames. I did manage to stay mostly calm, though my method for removal was not so smart. I grabbed an oven mitt and sort of swatted the box off of the burner, but this caused loose tea to explode everywhere since the bags were falling apart. Luckily the tea just sort of crumbled and went all over and didn't light anything else on fire. There is a small burnt spot on the kitchen timer now, but it could've been much worse. Despite going off and causing the alarm company to call us every time MB tries to make a steak in the cast iron skillet, the smoke detectors didn't even beep once during this whole debacle. Everything turned out fine and I think the house pretty much aired out in the thirty minutes I had all the windows open before the party started. But seriously, who gave me a license to be an adult? That was clearly an oversight.